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Witness to salon shooting: Slain woman 'saved a lot of lives...

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Witness to salon shooting: Slain woman 'saved a lot of lives'

Oct-24-2012 at 07:45 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Police secure the scene of a mass shooting at a spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin, USA. — Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune, October 21, 2012.
Zina Haughton, estranged wife of suspected shooter Radcliffe Haughton, who was killed in the Azana Salon and Spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin, USA. (Facebook / October 22, 2012)
Radcliffe Franklin Haughton, the suspect who allegedly killed 3 people at the Azana Salon and Spa before taking his own life. — Brookfield Police Department.
Witness to salon shooting: Slain woman 'saved a lot of lives'
by Carlos Sadovi. Chicago Tribune reporter, October 23, 2012.
csadovi < a t> | Twitter @csadovi

As patrons dove to the ground, Zina Haughton approached the armed man who walked into a Wisconsin spa to try to calm him, a woman who said she was a witness recalled Monday.

Zina Haughton would eventually be killed by Radcliffe Haughton, her estranged husband, along with two other women who worked at Azana Day Salon & Spa in Brookfield.

Betty Brunner, 65, said she had an 11 a.m. appointment Sunday with Haughton and was chatting with her, catching up on Haughton's two daughters. As Haughton went to get Brunner a cup of coffee, Brunner spotted a very tall man standing in the shop, wearing a backpack and holding a revolver, pointing it into the air, she said.

"He spun and when he spun he pointed the gun directly at the reception desk and he yelled, 'Everybody down, everybody down!'" said Brunner, of Jackson, Wis. "I got down on the floor."

There were about 16 other people in the shop, she said. But rather than get down on the ground like everyone else, Brunner said, Zina Haughton approached the man.

"Zina walked up to the reception desk kind of shielding the young receptionist and said, 'What do you want?'" Brunner said.

Haughton spoke to the man as though he was a stranger, calling him "sir," she said. She recalled Haughton saying, "Anything we can give you, anything you want? These are good people, they're just here. This is a peaceful place."

Haughton kept talking to the man, apparently trying to defuse the situation. Brunner said she didn't realize they were married until afterward. The man then grabbed Haughton by the arm and pulled her away from the reception area and yelled out again, "Everybody down, everybody down!"

He then took Haughton around a wall where other women were also located, she said. Brunner then heard shots fired. When the man returned, she said, she lay very still. She watched him get what she thought was additional ammunition from the backpack.

He asked a woman who was in front of the reception desk to show him the way to a second floor of the spa, she said. But the woman's knees were bleeding.

"She said, 'I am so sorry, sir, I can't. I'm shot, I can't stand up,'" Brunner said.

Then she watched the man go up the stairs alone. Soon after, fire alarms and sprinklers systems were activated as SWAT teams arrived. She ran out to the parking lot in bare feet.

Brunner credited the advice of her husband, a retired police officer, to always keep vigilant for helping her that day. But she also credited Zina Haughton.

"I want to emphasize how very brave Zina was because she was a hero. I'm sure she saved a lot of lives by trying to de-escalate the situation," Brunner said. "She was just brave and courageous throughout the whole thing."


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1. Alleged spa shooter had history of threats against wife

Oct-24-2012 at 07:52 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Records detail final conversation between Salon shooter, wife. Video provided by WISN. (Posted: October 23, 2012).
Alleged spa shooter had history of threats against wife
by Ryan Haggerty, Carlos Sadovi and Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune reporters
October 23, 2012.

Radcliffe Haughton had threatened violence against his wife before. Last year, he barricaded himself in the couple's home, where police said he pointed a "long-barreled black object" out the window at Zina Haughton after she called for emergency help, according to court records.

This month, Zina called police to report that her husband had slashed her car's tires outside her workplace.

"His threats terrorize my every moment," she wrote in a petition requesting a temporary restraining order.

Despite the threats, Radcliffe Haughton was never convicted of serious offenses. But Sunday, authorities said Haughton made good on his threats, killing his 42-year-old wife and two other women and wounding four others in a shooting spree at the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield, Wis., west of Milwaukee. Haughton then turned the gun on himself inside the salon, where his body was found later.

Thomas Ahern, spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Haughton, who previously lived in north suburban Northbrook and Wheeling, purchased a .40-caliber handgun from a private citizen Saturday — two days after a court ordered him to turn in all firearms.

In addition to Zina Haughton, the Waukesha County medical examiner's office Monday identified the victims as two other Wisconsin women: Cary Robuck, 35, of Racine, and Maelyn Lind, 38, of Oconomowoc. Like Zina, they were licensed beauticians at the spa, across the street from Brookfield Square Mall.

"I want to emphasize how very brave Zina was because she was a hero," said Betty Brunner, 65, of Jackson, Wis. She was talking to Zina before her 11 a.m. hair appointment when Haughton walked in, pointed his revolver straight up in the air and yelled, "Everybody down, everybody down!"

"I'm sure she saved a lot of lives by trying to de-escalate the situation," said Brunner, who did not see the shootings. Radcliffe pulled Zina behind a wall away from the reception area before he began firing, she said.

Authorities said they had responded to calls at the Haughton household since 2001 that ranged from animal complaints to domestic abuse. But during the most serious incident — when Radcliffe barricaded himself in the house in January 2011 — Zina refused to cooperate, and charges against her husband were eventually dropped, according to police.

Yet when seeking a court order of protection Oct. 8 after her tires were slashed, Zina wrote: "He threatened to throw acid on my face, burn me and my family with gas. … He said he would kill me if I left him or ever contacted police."

The couple's tumultuous relationship — they were in the process of divorcing — was also known to neighbors who frequently heard the couple arguing at their home in Brown Deer, Wis., north of Milwaukee.

Zina temporarily moved out of the home several times, said Ernest Polk, who lives across the street.

On Oct. 4, Zina asked Brown Deer police to escort her to her house so that she could remove her belongings, according to a police report. She then drove to work at the salon and saw that her husband had arrived there earlier, she told police.

She went inside the spa, where she and three co-workers reported seeing Haughton pull up to her car in his black Mazda, then lean out the window and slash the tires on her Audi, according to the police report.

Haughton was arrested and booked into the Waukesha County Jail on misdemeanor allegations of criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct-domestic violence, said Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel.

Haughton posted $350 bail and was released later that day, Schimel said. The conditions of Haughton's release prohibited him from intimidating, harassing or threatening his wife, Schimel said.

Despite the arrest, Haughton was never formally charged in the case, Schimel said. Prosecutors finished drafting a criminal complaint against Haughton on Oct. 16, but a representative of the Brookfield Police Department hadn't yet sworn to the complaint, so it couldn't be filed with the court, Schimel said.

Such a delay is common in cases involving defendants who are not in custody, Schimel said.

Although restrictions placed on domestic violence suspects, as conditions of bail or in temporary restraining orders, usually stop most suspects from following through on their threats, Haughton was clearly an exception, Schimel said.

"Ultimately, that piece of paper does keep a lot of people from committing further law violations," Schimel said. "It doesn't stop everybody."

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2. Autopsies released on Wisconsin salon slaying victims

Oct-24-2012 at 08:31 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Zina Haughton, left, and Maelyn Lind, victims of Sunday's shooting at Azana Salon and Spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin, USA.
(Facebook (Haughton), family photo (Lind))
Autopsies released on Wisconsin salon slaying victims
By Lisa Black. Chicago Tribune reporter, October 23, 2012.
lblack < a t> | Twitter: @LisaBChiTrib

One victim in Sunday's shooting spree at a suburban Milwaukee spa died of multiple gunshot wounds, a second died of a wound to her head and chest and a third woman died from a single shot to the neck, according to the Waukesha County Medical Examiner’s office, which released autopsy reports today.

The estranged wife of the suspect, Zina Haughton, 42, of Brown Deer, Wis., died of multiple wounds during the attack at Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield. Maelyn Lind, 38, of Oconomowoc, Wis., died of a gunshot wound to the head and chest, according to a news release. Cary Robuck, 35, of Racine died of a single gunshot wound, according to the report.

The gunman, Radcliffe Haughton, 45, shot himself in the head, according to the Medical Examiner’s office.

Haughton, who had threatened violence against his wife before, barged into the Brookfield spa at about 11 a.m. Sunday, killing the three women and injuring four more before turning the gun on himself.

Haughton, who had previously lived in Northbrook and Wheeling, had purchased the .40 calibur gun used in the shootings just one day earlier, on Saturday, according to Thomas Ahern, spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Haughton, who purchased the gun from a private citizen, had been ordered by a court to turn in all firearms last Thursday after his wife obtained a four-year restraining order against him. He did not turn in any weapons at that time, the Milwaukee Sheriff's office reported.

According to an e-mail from Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, three other people injured in the shootings are in satisfactory condition.


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